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September 1, 1998

Chronic traumatic brain injury in professional soccer players

September 1998 issue
51 (3) 791-796

Abstract

Objective: To determine the presence of chronic traumatic brain injury in professional soccer players.
Methods: Fifty-three active professional soccer players from several professional Dutch soccer clubs were compared with a control group of 27 elite noncontact sport athletes. All participants underwent neuropsychological examination. The main outcome measures were neuropsychological tests proven to be sensitive to cognitive changes incurred during contact and collision sports.
Results: The professional soccer players exhibited impaired performances in memory, planning, and visuoperceptual processing when compared with control subjects. Among professional soccer players, performance on memory, planning, and visuoperceptual tasks were inversely related to the number of concussions incurred in soccer and the frequency of "heading" the ball. Performance on neuropsychological testing also varied according to field position, with forward and defensive players exhibiting more impairment.
Conclusion: Participation in professional soccer may affect adversely some aspects of cognitive functioning (i.e., memory, planning, and visuoperceptual processing).

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

Neurology®
Volume 51Number 3September 1998
Pages: 791-796
PubMed: 9748028

Publication History

Published online: September 1, 1998
Published in print: September 1998

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Authors

Affiliations & Disclosures

J. T. Matser, MSc
From the Department of Neuropsychology and Sportsneurology (J.T. Matser), St. Anna Hospital Geldrop, The Netherlands; the Department of Epidemiology(Dr. Kessels), University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Jordan), UCLA School of Medicine, and the Biobehavioral Research Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, Los Angeles, CA; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Lezak), Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR; and the Department of Neurology (Dr. Troost), University Hospital of Maastricht, The Netherlands.
A.G.H. Kessels, MD
From the Department of Neuropsychology and Sportsneurology (J.T. Matser), St. Anna Hospital Geldrop, The Netherlands; the Department of Epidemiology(Dr. Kessels), University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Jordan), UCLA School of Medicine, and the Biobehavioral Research Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, Los Angeles, CA; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Lezak), Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR; and the Department of Neurology (Dr. Troost), University Hospital of Maastricht, The Netherlands.
B. D. Jordan, MD
From the Department of Neuropsychology and Sportsneurology (J.T. Matser), St. Anna Hospital Geldrop, The Netherlands; the Department of Epidemiology(Dr. Kessels), University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Jordan), UCLA School of Medicine, and the Biobehavioral Research Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, Los Angeles, CA; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Lezak), Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR; and the Department of Neurology (Dr. Troost), University Hospital of Maastricht, The Netherlands.
M. D. Lezak, PhD
From the Department of Neuropsychology and Sportsneurology (J.T. Matser), St. Anna Hospital Geldrop, The Netherlands; the Department of Epidemiology(Dr. Kessels), University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Jordan), UCLA School of Medicine, and the Biobehavioral Research Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, Los Angeles, CA; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Lezak), Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR; and the Department of Neurology (Dr. Troost), University Hospital of Maastricht, The Netherlands.
J. Troost, MD
From the Department of Neuropsychology and Sportsneurology (J.T. Matser), St. Anna Hospital Geldrop, The Netherlands; the Department of Epidemiology(Dr. Kessels), University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Jordan), UCLA School of Medicine, and the Biobehavioral Research Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, Los Angeles, CA; the Department of Neurology (Dr. Lezak), Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR; and the Department of Neurology (Dr. Troost), University Hospital of Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Notes

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Erik J.T. Matser, Department of Neuropsychology and Sportsneurology, St. Anna Hospital, PO Box 90, 5660 AB Geldrop, The Netherlands.

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